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New York Giants: Antrel Rolle's Ankle Sprain Underscores Thin Secondary

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Corey Webster will be key to the Giants' secondary in 2013.

COMMENTARY | New York Giants fans collectively held their breath on Monday, Aug. 12 when safety Antrel Rolle went down in practice and had to be carted off the field.

As it turns out, Rolle suffered a "pretty good ankle sprain" and is out for the time being. According to the team's official site, the injury is not thought to be serious and the hard-nosed safety hopes to be ready for the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 8. However, the idea of losing Rolle or any other member of the team's secondary to a long-term injury is sobering.

New York's pass defense, which ranked No. 28 in the National Football League in 2012, is shaky at best and needs all of its parts to have a chance at improving this year. Keep in mind, safety Will Hill has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's drug policy. Tyler Sash or Cooper Taylor could step in for Hill, but the cornerback position is a little more tricky.

The Giants will be leaning on projected starting cornerbacks Corey Webster and Prince Amukamara. Webster is coming off a poor season, but he's only two seasons removed from a career-high six interceptions, and Amukamara has his best years ahead of him. Add safety Stevie Brown, who grabbed a team-leading eight interceptions in 2012, and the Giants have a chance at turning things around.

But the starters have to stay healthy.

Big Blue will face last year's four highest-rated quarterbacks, including Tony Romo and Robert Griffin III, two times each, this upcoming season. Asking an older, albeit experienced Aaron Ross or unproven Jayron Hosley to step into the starting lineup is asking for trouble. And don't even think about counting on any of the players behind them on the depth chart (i.e. Trumaine McBride, Terrence Frederick). It's going to be up to the starters to get the job done.

Injuries are a part of life in the NFL, but if the Giants are going to tighten up their pass defense, all of their starting defensive backs have to be on the field and on point this season.

Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports.


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